Holiday Star Bread

For the dough
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast 
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest 
  • 3 ½ cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

For the filling

  • 1/4 cup butter soften
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 1 yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Place yeast in a bowl. Add warm milk (between 90 to 100 farenheit) and mix it together. You should see small bubbles around the edges. Add flour, sugar, zest and eggs and mix at medium speed until the dough is soft, shiny and elastic (10-12 minutes).
Add the butter (at room temperature) little by little while mixing. Add the salt and continue mixing at medium speed until the dough pulls out from the sides of the the mixing bowl. Knead the dough until thoroughly combined. Let it rest covered until it doubles in size (about 1 ½ – 2 hours).

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a mixing bowl mix together walnuts, sugar and cinnamon.

Punch down the dough and divide into 3 equal pieces. Shape them into balls and roll each one into a 9″ or 10″ circle.

Spread dough with half of the softened butter and add half of the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of the first circle. Place the second circle on top of the bottom layer. Spread with the rest of the butter and sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place the last circle on top.

Place a small cup in the middle of the layered dough and very lightly mark a ring in the centre to use as a guide.

Cut the dough first in quarters. Cut each quarter into 2 pieces, then cut each of those into 2 pieces so you end up with 16 strands connected to the middle circle.
Take 2 strands that are side-by-side and twist them away from each other two times. Connect the two strands at the end, pinching the ends together to form a point. You should end with 8 points.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and proof for 30 minutes.

Make a glaze by mixing the yolk with water.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and brush the bread evenly with the glaze. Bake the bread for 25-35 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil it the bread is browning too quickly.